A deeper look into the (reversed) consumer socialization process: the child as an expert?


In august 2022, Bo Dhondt started as a PhD student at the Department of Communication Sciences of Ghent University (research group CEPEC). During her research, she aims to investigate how parents learn from their children during everyday interactions. In the literature, children are often described as individuals who need to be protected from all kinds of outside influences. The advent of the internet and social media have given children more power in terms of product and brand knowledge, shopping knowledge and skills etc.
As a result, children are acquiring consumer skills earlier and earlier, which gives them more power in the family decision-making process.  That's why Bo will spend the next four years investigating how parents acquire consumption competences from their children.

In a first study, Bo aims to answer the following research questions:

  1. What areas of consumption do children talk about with their parents?
  2. In what context? (Where, for how long, how)
  3. What communication patterns can we distinguish?
  4. What do parents learn from this (which consumption competences)?

During this four-year PhD trajectory, Bo will be supervised by Prof. dr. Dieneke Van de Sompel and Prof. dr. Liselot Hudders.